Born to Be Blue ★★★½

“Who do you like better, me or Miles Davis?”

To be completely fair, I guess I should start by saying that I’m an enormous fan of Miles Davis and I think most of his albums are great. However, with slightly more lo-fi style and the added element of his vocals, Chet Baker is surely a close second in terms of the jazz-trumpets, fully amazing in his own way. With a touching life-story worth to be told, this biopic kind of sweeps away the rug under your feet early on by attempting a meta-approach. On the one hand, this floating, hazy style fits Baker’s music (which is at its best when it’s just floating away) but much of it feels like a poor attempt at hiding an otherwise clear biopic-narrative. Ethan Hawke has more than an uncanny resemblance to Baker, transcending the visual similarities with an extremely dedicated performance ranking amongst his best. Ultimately, Kind of Blue is somewhat stuck between the traditional narrative and dreamy experimentation, creating a nice portrait of Baker’s life but not without an ounce of wasted potential.

2015

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